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Single & Fulfilled: A Paradox


I never want to feel bad about being single.

That goes for whatever age I am… whether I’m twenty going on twenty-one or forty going on forty-one.

I say that because I think there’s an unhealthy stigma associated with singleness. If you’re single, it’s just a waiting game until you can achieve the nirvana that is a relationship. If you’re single, there’s a reason you’re single. If you’re single, don’t worry… you just haven’t found the “one” yet. If you’re single, please carry around this unnecessary pressure because you aren't getting any younger amiright?

I was raised to avoid dating in high school, because I believe the purpose of dating is for marriage. Naturally I wasn’t ready to get married in high school, so it probably wasn’t a good idea to date then. And I’m truly thankful for that mindset because personally it sure saved me a lot of heartache. I was waiting til college (because that’s where true adulthood lies…).

So I entered college as a freshman, prepared to meet my future husband and date and then get married after graduation. Freshman year came and went, and wow that pesky future husband hadn’t shown up yet. Sophomore year… still forever alone. And here I am, a junior in college, and the horizon for dating is quite empty.

I went into college with an expectation of finally getting a relationship. I had been a good Christian girl, sort-of patiently awaiting my time. And when that expectation wasn’t met, I found disappointment, frustration, and a good portion of self-doubt.

Puzzle Pieces


I always forget how much I love spring time at LSU.

Maybe that's because I've only had one spring to love so far.

It is the first day of school for the spring semester. I'm sitting outside in the courtyard of the business college, eating a ham and cheese sandwich and drinking a juice box while fighting the wind on its insistence that I eat my own hair for lunch, and I am content.

I struggled a lot last semester with contentment, and I've decided I will not struggle with that this semester.

I've been fretting a lot about what I want to do when I graduate, and even what I want to do this summer. Or rather what I feel like the Lord wants me to do. If it's not on my mind, I'm trying my hardest to keep it from being on my mind; which actually means it's inherently on my mind!!!! And even without knowing what I will be doing in the future, I've wanted to hurry up and be there because logically if I'm doing what I'm doing, then I'll be past the whole process of worrying about what I'll be doing.

Yeah, that all made sense.

But in taking a quiet moment with the Lord this morning, He just asked that I wouldn't fret so much about something that is so far in the future that I forget to take advantage of today.

Hi, 2017


Hi, 2017.

I'm excited to meet you, as so many are.

I'm aware that we are already a whole 48 hours in to the new year, so that makes me a little late on posting my New Year's thoughts; but I hope my non-conformity/writing slack won't discredit me.

I'd like to say I don't fall prey to the idea that everything up until January 1, 2017 doesn't matter anymore and the whole "new year, new me" quips; but I do. I do fall prey. I don't think I can help it! There's a full 365 days ahead of me that I can do whatever I want with, and I never truly appreciated that until now. We tend to remember events in our lives by the year, and it's exciting to think that 2017 remains unblemished. There's something so thrilling about "new-ness." Something officially clean of whatever has happened in the past, and the fact that we can claim this year as our own.

But as beautiful as you are my new friend, 2016 was kind to me; and you have big shoes to fill.

A year ago, I was entering 2016 with anticipation and anxiety; for I would be spending exactly half of the year in a place of complete unfamiliarity. But what an adventurous half it turned out to be.

2016 gave me people. It gave me people from Australia and New Zealand and South Korea and all over the U.S. I love those people. I wish I could take every person's hands into my own and communicate how much their friendship is treasured... but I can't because that's literally so many people, and also that's weird.

I'll always look back on this year with a smile, but I won't say it didn't come without heartbreak.

The winter break has given me a lot of time to think, and my conclusion is that somewhere along the way, I lost myself.

Dear God, You're Invited


I am a person who has to do things herself.

I will not ask for help. I don't like asking for help.

I can prove that I am strong enough, smart enough, capable enough... just enough to do things on my own.

I hate googling actors that I recognize in movies but can't place, because I know I can command my mind to remember this trivial piece of information.

I hate going to SI sessions for school work, even if I'm struggling in the class.

I won't even take medicine when I'm feeling sick because I somehow figure I can get over it myself. I'm ridiculous, I know.

These little examples of my obsession with self-sustenance are funny and make you shake your head and distantly question my sanity. But what I've been noticing is the way these little things translate into bigger things that affect my relationship with Christ.

Sometimes we unconsciously get in the habit of keeping personal life and spiritual life separate, when really they should be intertwined. Too often I hear of students feeling overwhelmed by school work or stressed about this relationship or that friendship. We are in tune with God during life group and church and worship, but then when it comes to school or social life, it can be easy to set God in the background.

Boredom Is Not An Option

There's always a call to more.

We will never master Christianity. We will never run out of things to know about God, the world, people. We never have to be bored.

I've been silent in writing for a while, not on purpose... just out of busy-ness and an absence of thoughts to write about. It's funny because I'll randomly get a thought sometimes of "wow, I should write a blog post on this," and then when I sit down to write, I suddenly become apathetic or unwilling to make myself think. I have to consciously will away thoughts of unworthiness or inadequacy.

But that's not what I want to focus on in this post. Something the Lord has put on my heart lately is the fact that there is always something more to learn. There is always something to be doing or learning to fill my time with. I should never experience boredom in my walk with Christ.

Life Is Not Always Friday

My favorite days are and have always been Friday's.

I've always had school on Friday's, but that feeling of being done with school and it's finally the weekend... well, that's my favorite feeling. Pure freedom.

Some thoughts:

I live a blessed life. I go to school at the best and most beautiful university. I live with my best friends. My hair is growing at an acceptable pace. I now have friends all over the country... all over the world in fact. I serve a God who faithfully meets with me everyday.

I have so much to look forward to in life, but I pray that I would serve God just as faithfully even when I don't have so much to look forward to. The whole "I will praise You in this storm" theme comes to mind when I say that, but I don't think we regularly dwell on that when life is going as it should.

It's actually easier for me to be in relationship with God when life is going well. It's easier for me because I credit all good things to come from Him.

But when storms do come, when I have a torrential downpour of days that don't feel like Friday's, it's hard for me to cling to God when I need Him the most. I get distracted and try to balance everything on my own during a time that I should be depending on Him the the most. In feeling that He has turned His favor from me, I turn my back on Him.

His Praise Will Never Cease


Worship of God will never cease to exist.

God has been and will always be. He will be glorified forever; if not by His people, the rocks of the earth will cry out (Luke 19:40).

I can't wrap my mind around that fact... that a Being exists and is so marvelous that even the rocks of the earth cry of His glory. A Being that will always be worshipped. There is no amount of time, no matter how small, that God is not being exalted.

He has been worshipped since the beginning of time. Yes, our day to day lives should be a constant act of worship, but here I'm talking about a deliberate outward expression. "Praise" is a more accurate term, if you will. Worship styles may have changed over the years... Worship may have occurred in a temple or in the quiet of a home. Sometimes there are flashing lights and impressive sound quality. Sometimes there are only voices to shout or sing of who He is and what He's done for us.

Wherever or however worship has happened over time, we as believers have all worshipped the same God. We have all witnessed His beauty and divine hand in our lives. We have all been crushed by His grace and compelled to praise Him.

That's amazing.

Lately



Hello.

It's me. 

And it has been over a month since I've posted. I'd like to say I've been busy, which I have... but not busy enough so that I couldn't have written. It's hard to find motivation and inspiration. But anyways, here's an update on my oh-so-interesting life.

Christmas Day, 2015
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We spent Christmas in Oklahoma where the whole family lives. I'd have to say the ride back from OK to LA was the absolute worst car ride of my life. The weather in Texas was awful with flood and tornado warnings going off every five minutes... but yet we pressed on. Because of all the rain, the roads were flooded which resulted in many detours. All in all, we spent exactly twelve hours in the car. By that time, I was ready for a tornado to sweep me up and pray it carry me home.

Eventually we made it back, but just 48 hours later, I was packed up and headed to Dallas for Chi Alpha's South Central SALT Conference. SALT is a two day conference for all Chi Alpha's in the South Central area, totaling around 1,800 students. And wow... it was incredible. Not to ride the I-just-came-out-of-an-amazing-Jesus-conference high, but I learned so much those couple of days.

Lifegroup Affirmations 2k15

Last night was our last lifegroup meeting of the semester. On the last night, we always do Affirmations, which is just a time of lifting up, encouraging, and loving on our fellow sisters. Each lifegroup does it differently, but we this time we decided to take over a conference room with a white board in the union. We traced the silhouette of each person, and they stepped out of the room while we wrote or illustrated why we love them around the silhouette. Then they came back in blindfolded, and we took a picture of them in front of the white board surrounded by their affirmations.

It's always a really sweet time together because we get to focus on all the qualities that make each of us so beautiful. This one was especially good, just because it was the last lifegroup with these girls before I go to Disney in the Spring. I can't wait to spend my days in Disney, but I'm sure gonna miss these times with my sisters.

So here are the pictures from last night. They are filled with much love and inside jokes, quotes each of us say a lot, some of our favorite songs and people.

P. S. The lighting made us all look like serial killers, but it's okay.

Singing In The Silence


Authenticity is magnetic.

So I want to be real with you right now. I want to share the real, raw feelings I have on my heart. Sometimes they are lovely and full of joy. Sometimes they are messy and broken.

I would have to say I'm very messy right now.

I wrote in my last blog post, here, that I felt like I was walking blindly toward the Lord. I hadn't had a moment with Him in a while; that feeling that I was encountering the presence of God. And I still feel like I'm in that place. Which is hard! It's really hard!

I did pretty poorly on a test I took recently; which began a catharsis of emotions. During our weekly worship service, I had a couple of my friends pray over me; and I had this emotional breakdown. Not just my eyes tearin' up, but full-on nasty crying. And at the time I didn't even know why. Sure, my despicable test grade had me bummed, but in that moment I felt so heavy and burdened. I was weighed down by I don't even know what. My heart unloaded in the only way it knew how: tears.

After journaling it out, I realized where that heaviness came from. I missed being in the Lord's presence. I missed being so near and in tune to Him. I missed being able to feel His closeness and being comforted by that.

Of course I have been in dry places before, where it feels like God isn't with me or speaking to me only. How am I supposed to minister to others and "be a light" if I'm not even experiencing God myself? This place was frustrating for me, because I didn't see the point. What was I supposed to be learning? I wanted the Lord's will over everything. I was spending time with Him, and had just surrendered everything I thought I had. What more could I do?

I asked God to reveal to me what's going on. How much longer would He be silent? Why was He silent?

I don't have all the answers. But after spending time meditating and waiting on the Lord, I think I have the one I need.

For We Trust In Our God - Fall Breakaway 2015

This past weekend I went to a fall retreat called Fall Breakaway by my campus ministry Chi Alpha. We literally "break away" from everything, and escape to a camp in the middle of the woods in north Louisiana. All of the Chi Alpha's in Louisiana meet up to attend sessions by a guest speaker and Chi Alpha staff across the state. We stay in camp dormitories; there are trails to walk and a pond to swim in. And the weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful. The kind that's sunny with a high of 75.

I love this weekend away. I love being surrounded by nature and by fellow believers who love Jesus.





The week before Breakaway was rough... I had a couple of big tests and assignments due that week, so I was beyond ready to escape and rest.

I went to Breakaway last year too, and it was such a sweet time. That weekend Chi Alpha became my family, and I felt connected and loved. I knew what to expect this weekend, and I was expecting great things from God.

It's Okay To Be Lonely

(via)
Sometimes I am lonely.

Not for friends, or company, or someone to talk to.

I am lonely for a "significant other." A soulmate, a best friend with a side of romance. A Jack to my Rose; a Noah to Allie; a Troy to Gabriella. Ah, the plight of singleness.

I know every girl feels or has felt this way before. It's not a new thing, and I don't even think it's something to be ashamed of.

Yesterday as I was walking to class, I passed a couple who were walking and talking together. I just happened to glance at them when their hands met, and their fingers intertwined. And it just stuck out to me because it was so natural, like their hands were made for each other. Like they just fit.

Now I don't even know these people. I'm just creepin'. I don't know what their relationship is like or who they are... I didn't even look at their faces. But in that moment when their hands met, I felt a subtle ache in my heart. I couldn't get this couple out of my head all day. I had this longing for romance; to love and be loved. I wanted that. And honestly, don't we all?

Whenever I would experience loneliness and longing in the past, I would have asked God to take it away from me. I didn't want to go through it anymore; I just wanted it to be gone. Feeling nothing was better than hurting. I was ashamed of myself for feeling this way. I felt like longing for a relationship was weak or pathetic.

Friday Night Reflections


Happy weekend to everyone! For most of the people I know, this marks the end of the first week of the college school year. The first week is always the best week because it's syllabus week aka usually nothing too hard is assigned or due. And Friday is the best day because it's the beginning of the weekend!

My Friday consisted of going to class, and then making the two hour drive back home for the weekend. I needed to pick up a few things, and cuddle with my dogs. Now comfortably settled in my own bed, I am serenaded by the sweet sounds of Ben Rector's brand new album "Brand New." No really, it's called "Brand New" and it's going to be on repeat for a good three weeks. I highly suggest anything Ben Rector.


Now as my life is slowing down a bit, I'm able to process my week and everything that's happened recently. So many changes have occurred for everyone, I'm sure, in such short time.

Being back at school has been so incredible already. This year, my university really feels like home. I feel more confident, established, comfortable. I have a community to be a part of, and I know what my place is there. I've learned that sometimes you just need to watch High School Musical and sing every word with your friends on the first night of school. Wednesday night I learned how to play hostess and cook for 17 people. That was a fun experience... had to call my mom for help on that one. Also I'm learning the rights of a pedestrian on a bicycle? I still don't know all the rules...

Three Things You Won't Learn At Freshman Orientation


With college move-in days quickly approaching/already happening, I will soon be an official sophomore. PRAISE. Freshman year was one of the most fun, growing years of my life as of yet, but I'm hoping now that I'm an older, wiser college girl, that I'll be able to shake off that sign above my head that screams "FRESHMAN OVER HERE."

So in the midst of all the preparations and tips for moving in and starting school, I wanted to share a bit of reflection on what freshman year actually taught me, besides how to be especially awkward and how to graph a limit (business calc, I'm lookin' at you).

1. Study hard, but don't forget to live. School isn't everything.

Now before you stop reading and I start getting hate comments, just hear me out. I don't mean that you should never study and throw away yours (or your parent's) tuition money for the sake of yolo. Absolutely not. Your primary goal for going to school is to get a degree, so keep that in mind.

But also take the time to know and invest in the abundant amounts of relationships you have thrown in your lap. I can't even keep track of the new faces I met, and the beautiful friendships I made by taking a night off from studying and doing something fun (aka 80's movie nights and late night donut runs). I just think it's okay to live a little. Make memories. Take time for yourself. If getting straight A's is your thing, then by all means go for it. Just don't let life or people pass you by.

(Disclaimer: does not apply to engineering or pre-med majors)